A comparison of ESL /non ESL student scores on the tenth grade end of course exams in Texas

Nancy Garcia Lara, University of Texas at El Paso


As the United States becomes more and more diverse, an increasingly multiethnic nation will develop. Student populations in public schools will be reflective of that change. It seems that a border should separate these communities, but they will constantly affect each others destiny and culture. Border communities are faced with the challenge of providing equal educational opportunities for an increasing number of children from Mexico who are entering our schools. Border regions, such as El Paso, Texas will affected the most by the population migration. In considering the future of border cities educational leaders should not downplay the importance of assisting these students to be successful in school because they will eventually have an impact of the economy (Halford, 1999). Developing programs to meet the needs of children of immigrant parents entering the U.S. Public schools for the first time will be a major responsibility of border communities. The purpose of this study was to determine how well students who moved to the border community of El Paso, Texas from Mexico and Spanish speaking countries incorporate what they learn in English as a Second Language (ESL) classes when transitioning to English. The results for the End of Course Exams for 2002 administered to tenth grade students who were identified as having immigrated from Mexico and other Spanish speaking countries and who participated in ESL classes and Hispanic students who identified Spanish as the primary language spoken at home and did not participate in ESL classes were analyzed. The 14,630 students who were the focus of this study were from the three largest public schools districts in El Paso, Texas. The data gathered were analyzed by specific exam, gender, and student socioeconomic status. The significant differences in the scores on the End of Course Exams administered to tenth grade students, who were the focus of this study, indicate that non-English speaking students who immigrate to the U.S. are not acquiring the necessary skills to compete with U.S. students whose primary language at home is Spanish. Educational leaders need to re-evaluate expectations and standards applicable to ESL students and cohesiveness and delivery of curricula to meet the needs of immigrants and whose primary language spoken at home is Spanish.

Subject Area

School administration|Language arts

Recommended Citation

Lara, Nancy Garcia, "A comparison of ESL /non ESL student scores on the tenth grade end of course exams in Texas" (2005). ETD Collection for University of Texas, El Paso. AAI3167944.